All Wrapped Up

It was love at first sight the moment I saw this dress.  Something about the clean geometric print and light silky, stretchy material just spoke to me. I crossed my fingers and headed to the dressing room.  I have a fear about trying on dresses.  Anything else I’m fine.  But dresses are my arch enemy. I’m well-endowed and resemble an upside down pear. Dresses usually disappoint me.  They usually do not fit over my bust and those that do will be too large in the waist and hips.  But shockingly… in a moment of glee…this dress slipped right over the top of my head and cascaded down the rest of me and gracefully hugged every curve exactly the way a dress should.

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This is a faux wrap dress.  It gives the sophisticated look of an actual wrap dress without the fear of it falling open.  This is a common silhouette found in many closets. But do you know why it has become so popular?  My second remark after, “OMG I want that dress,”  was “it is so DVF!”  and I was met with a couple of blank stares from my younger co-workers and I realized that I had either aged myself or exposed inner history buff.  The fabulous Diane von Furstenberg is an amazing designer and business woman.  The first time I saw her was on Project Runway and I also remember watching  a short lived reality show about her business. I couldn’t help but admire and envy her poise and confidence. There was an aura of grace and power emitting from her being.  I needed to know more about her.

She designed the wrap dress in the 70’s and came to New York to sell her fashion.  She was a woman who sought to create a business to have something to call her own.  When she started out she had no idea how popular this dress was going to become.  The style itself wasn’t newly designed, but her fabrication and prints were what made it take off in the industry.  In the 70’s, women were ready for a wear to work garment that didn’t mimic the masculinity of the mainstream career wardrobe.  It was time for women to show that it was okay to be feminine, sexy, and a professional powerhouse.  I look at her as one of the original #girlboss.

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The wrap dress also symbolizes the notion of reinvention.  Fashion trends tend to fade after awhile and the wrap was no different.  DVF ended up closing up shop and it wasn’t until the late 90s when her dress resurfaced on young ladies shopping in vintage stores.  A younger generation now in love with the dress gave it new life and her business was reborn stronger than before.  She has risen to the top once again and she now also sits as the president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

Now with all my raving about DVF, I don’t want you to be confused about the design of this dress.  A DVF dress is a true wrap dress.  “A wrap dress is a dress with a front closure formed by wrapping one side across the other, and knotting the attached ties that wrap around the back at the waist or fastening buttons. This forms a V-shaped neckline and hugs the wearer’s curves”

My dress is a faux wrap.  “The term faux is derived from the French word for something false — so anything faux is an imitation of the real thing. A wrap dress wraps around the body, and is fastened with some form of closure, such as a belt or pin. A faux wrap dress is one that mimics the look, but is actually sewn shut.”   

My wallet-friendly dressbarn dress can be found here: Misses Geometric Print Wrap Dress  and here: Plus Geometric Print Wrap Dress .  I feel like it embodies the essence of all that a DVF dress represents.

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Style It

  • This dress will look amazing on any body type.  It will flaunt the curves of an hourglass, create curves on a straight figures,  establish balance those who are either top heavy (like me) or bottom heavy, or give those with a little extra in the middle the illusion of a waistline.
  • It is a versatile dress that takes you from work to play.  You can head straight from the office to drinks; From a business meeting to first date with just one dress. No changing outfits!
  • You can adapt it to any climate.  An open strappy shoe in a warmer climate, looks just as great as tights and boots in a cold climate… where it also lends itself to layering with a scarf and jacket.
  • As far as accessories go, I choose to forego a necklace and just went with a bold earring in a coordinating color.  The neckline of this style is so iconic and a statement in itself I didn’t want to detract from it.  If you must wear one I would keep it to a more subdued piece.  The wrap dress is all about the easy elegance and simplicity.

I wore this dress comfortably on an 8 hour shift.  I felt like I was wearing something that was embodied something bigger than myself.  Like I was wearing a little piece of history.  This dress has come a long way.  It’s been on top, fallen back down, only to come back stronger and fiercer than before.  I find the story of the wrap dress and DVF to be inspirational. When I wear it I want to be all the the things this dress is: powerful, sexy, confident, and feminine.  I want to be reminded that even when I hit rock bottom and feel like I’ve faded from existence, I too, can reinvent myself and make an unforgettable comeback.

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